A Year in Review…2015 Recap!

One of the absolute best parts of this blog is writing our year-end or seasonal recaps. I forget about a lot of the things we do during the year and it’s so fun to look back through our photos or posts from the year and refresh my memory. Overall, 2015 has been a really positive year, but really one that was more constant and had fewer “big” highlights than the last few years. Let’s start from the top!

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Our 2015 kicked off with one of the most fun highlights of the whole year: our ski trip to Park City, Utah! We had so much fun exploring the food scene in Deer Valley and skiing Alta, Snowbird and Snowbasin. This was the only trip we took in 2015 that was just the two of us.

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I ventured SO far out of my comfort zone later that month when I took a three-day backcountry ski clinic for women. It was terrifying, eye-opening, inspiring and confidence-boosting all at the same time.

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One of the worst parts of 2015 was when our Henry cat went missing for 11 days. It is still heartbreaking to think about, but after spending that time in our neighbor’s garage, he has made a full recovery and continues to love on Jackson more and more.

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I got a big promotion in the beginning of the year, so my work-life changed tremendously when I began working full-time in February.

Last winter’s “ski season” was completely pathetic. It was so disappointing. I skied 12 days last winter and I think Alex had 10 or 11. We typically average around 25-35 per ski season. It was an “El Nino” winter, which meant it was unusually warm and wet – too warm for snow. Our winter looked much different than usual… Thankfully we took a big trip to Mexico in mid-February so we could find something to do!

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Our trip to Mexico included a week in Puerto Vallarta with my mom, while Alex was off in Guadalajara with some of his friends. He met me in PV and then we headed across Bandaras Bay to Yelapa to attend the wedding of our friends Nigel and Jolene at a remote accessible-by-boat-only destination in the jungle. After we returned home from Mexico we hired a private Spanish tutor to come to our house once a week and help us become more conversationally fluent in Spanish {one of both of our bucket list items!}. We plan to keep this up into 2016.

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One of the silver linings of the ski season was another ski trip we had. This one was in Jackson Hole, where we met my dad. There wasn’t a whole lot of snow, but there was a ton of sun and really amazing food. We love Jackson!!

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With the absence of a ski season in Washington, our March and April were super boring. The weather in Seattle was sensational, though {another silver lining}, so we spent a ton of time outside drinking wine and mourning the state of our backyard.

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We celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary in the Yakima Valley by doing a big overnight wine tour of the region. It was a really nice little getaway!

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May marked the start of summer with the weather and our travel/wedding season. Alex attended a bachelor party in Montreal in mid-May with a bunch of his high school friends. We also celebrated Alex’s 29th birthday with a surprise party! My birthday was celebrated with a Thai cooking class that we took together.

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While Alex went home to Illinois to celebrate his dad’s retirement in May, my dad, brother and aunt came out to attend my cousin Jon’s wedding. It was nice to show them around Olympic National Park and spend time together.

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We flew back to Illinois again in June to attend the wedding of Alex’s cousin Josh during a sweltering heat wave.

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And then we flew back to Illinois again in July to attend the wedding of Alex’s friend Adam.

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And then we flew to Minnesota to attend the wedding of Alex’s friend Sammy.

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Somewhere in there we squeezed in a weekend in Lake Chelan so that Alex could participate in a major bike ride, including some very steep climbs. Lake Chelan is absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to go back again.

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Nearby Lake Chelan is where we spent a separate weekend in late July – we went camping with the Millers and the Furtwanglers at Lake Wenatchee State Park. It was ungodly hot, so that made camping a little uncomfortable, but being right on the lake and having a canopy to cover part of our campsite provided a little solace.

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The summer of 2015 was, I believe, the hottest on record for Seattle. Now I’m really not one to complain, but our 106 year-old house had zero insulation or shade, nor air conditioning, so having our interior temperature hold steady at 92 degrees got old pretty quickly. We got creative with the grill and made a lot of salads for lunch, but our wimpy Seattle blood isn’t used to the heat!

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Some other highlights of the summer include finding out that our friends Mary and Ryan were going to have twin boys this fall…

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Celebrating Alex’s big promotion!…

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Getting several pre-cancerous moles removed…

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Spending time with my college roommate Rachel…

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Catching up with Alex’s family in Illinois….

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And my family in Minnesota…

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Oh, and my friends, too!

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We took a really fun trip down to the Willamette Valley wine region in Oregon with my friend Sarah and her husband Mike. We sampled an enormous amount of wine and spent a day on the Oregon coast.

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The summer came to a close with the Allens annual trip out to Seattle. We spent the long Labor Day weekend on San Juan Island with Alex’s parents.

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In mid-September my mom came out to visit and watch me run my first half marathon!

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Sometime in mid-summer we began the process of a major redecorating/renovation in our house. We revamped our bedroom, living room and dining room and completely remodeled our master bathroom. The process was much longer than we expected but our house has completely transformed and we are so proud and happy with how it turned out!

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Our annual fall kick-off tends to be our trip to Leavenworth with three other couples: the Millers, Buffingtons and Hilliards. We had a great time this year, though it was a different trip, because all three of the other women were pregnant. Next year there will be five babies!

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We took one final trip back to Illinois for the year for our final wedding of 2015: the wedding of my college roommate Julie.

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One of the big highlights from the fall was finally “breaking ground” on our major bathroom renovation. It was a two-month process to gut the bathroom and put it back together. It was well worth the wait!

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The biggest highlight of the fall {and probably the year} was finding out I was pregnant in early November! We are thrilled to be starting a family.

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We spent Thanksgiving in Mexico with Alex’s family this year. It was a wonderful and relaxing week in Puerto Vallarta to celebrate Donna and Stan’s 35th anniversary.

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Ski season went off with a bang this year and December proved to be a fantastic month for skiing!

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As 2015 comes to a close and I reflect on all that’s happened, I am really focusing on the future. 2016 is going to be a huge year for Alex and me. We’re both turning 30 this year, and, of course, our life will dramatically change this summer with the birth of our first child. I am seeing the end of 2015 as the closing of our “young adult” chapter and 2016 as the beginning of our “building a family” chapter. I have no idea what this chapter will look like or how it will play out, but I have every expectation that it will be filled with life lessons, a lot of laughter and love and many, many challenges as we face parenthood and raise our family. With that, Happy New Year!